The sudden death of Everett’s popular Building Department chief James Soper comes as a tragic bit of news about a very nice guy, an honest man who did his job by the book but knew how to bend to make everything work here.
Across the board, people who knew Jimmy Soper said they liked him.
His colleagues inside the offices of the Building Department thought well of him.
The members of the various city boards he often appeared in front of liked him.
He was an easy guy to like.
He died of a massive heart attack, one of those things that just comes out of the blue and takes down the best of us without warning.
He was, to the end, a very physical type, playing ice hockey with much younger men.
We knew him here at the Leader Herald.
We sometimes ate with him and bantered with him at Common Ground on the Parkway where he enjoyed taking his lunch quite often before the virus put the kibosh on eating inside.
We never saw him angry. We never heard him say something untoward about anyone.
He had a great smile. He knew how to laugh. He always remained humble.
The greatest thing he brought to the table was being comfortable in his own skin.
We lament the passing of Jimmy Soper.
Everett has lost a very capable public servant.
We will miss not having him around – after all – he was always a positive presence and appeared so happy to be alive.